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12 July 2015 | in Universiade 2015, Education, Conference, Summer FISU World University Games, Multisports

Athletics Icon Moses: Education is Key

 GWANGJU – When Edwin Moses was a young athlete, he didn’t know anything about the procedures of doping controls. But that has changed. The two-time American 400m hurdles Olympic Gold medallist has had many doping controls in his career and quickly became familiar with the process. Today the 59-year-old is working as Chair of WADA’s Education Committee and Chair of the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

When I was a young athlete there were basically no protocols, there was no education for a drug test. It was learning by doing, explains Moses, who dominated the 400m hurdles from 1975 to 1987. He adds: There was no drug list that we knew, there was no talk about it with coaches, people that were associated with the athletes just didnt exist.

Former Olympic and World Champion Edwin Moses, Chair of the WADA Education Committee

The hurdler started athletics in age group competitions and later in high school. But instead of accepting an athletic scholarship he accepted an academic scholarship from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, while continuing to improve as an athlete.

Looking back to his days as a young athlete Moses says: A project like the anti-doping programme of FISU, GUOC, and WADA would have been very helpful for me and Im glad that Im a part of the movement to get this information out, to find the information, do the research, and then to distribute it through our partners, FISU and GUOC. We at WADA dont deal with athletes directly so we have to have partners to disseminate the information.

Edwin Moses won 122 consecutive races and broke his own record four times. He was undefeated for nine years, nine months, and nine days. In order to an equally successful career, young athletes have to be educated. That’s what the new anti-doping programme is there for, says the former Olympic athlete: For me one of the most heart-breaking things is to have athletes tested positive for a substance because they didnt know, because they took a supplement. And we have to give them a penalty in many cases. As an athlete it hurts me personally to see it happen. Thats why were proactive along with our partners about education because we know that is the key, the first line of defence.


Max Länge (GER), FISU Young Reporter